Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The unpicked

I've always been touched by apple trees that I come upon whose bounty has been left unpicked. Their beautiful little gifts to the earth, and the creatures, left on a roadside like a forgotten coffee cup. At least the worms and dirt, and birds, benefit. As I go for my walk with Huck up country roads, there are many apple trees, and this year I started picking the fallen fruit, carrying it home from walks in my giant coat pockets. I feed some to Rudy, the lonely horse in a nearby field, who sees us coming and knows it means apples. It is perhaps his only interaction that day with a human.

This year I went one step further, and drove to various road side trees and picked the apples in quantities for my donkeys and Boone. An apple a day. I have one yearling ewe, little Olive Oil, the runt triplet of this years crop, who loves her morning apple. None of the other ewes are interested [although they like apple sauce].

And so I had apples on my mind, when a few weeks ago I saw a news bite on a woman in California who was also moved by all the fruit in her neighborhood going unpicked. She started knocking on doors and asking people if she could pick their fruit and donate it to shelters. Soon, she had others helping, and then more people started the same activity in their own neighborhoods. Bravo for her. Bravo! But it reminded me of my apples, and I thought, next year, maybe, I can get people to pick the apples, and donate them to needy equine people, to get them through these difficult economic times. I wait until the wormy ones fall, and the bruised ones get left behind. The unwanteds can still find use in an equine belly.

So I painted this quiet little piece yesterday. For all those apples.


Claire MW said...

That's beautiful - your artwork and the sentiments. My llamas love apples and I get bags of the fallen ones from a coworker who brings them for me in exchange for fresh eggs. It is a good little barter system and we both benefit. The goats pick up the pieces that the llamas drop. Then the chickens clear up any leftovers. A good system, and I get compost out of the other end, to put on my own apple trees!!

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Yea, Claire! I love the barter system, when both sides really want the other's item, then it works. I love too how the farm gives us opportunities to barter food and items essential to living. We're lucky.

Kathy said...

That is such a warm story. I love animals and felt especially sad when you mentioned you were Rudy's only human contact that day. I feel so bad for animals who are forced to exist because nobody takes the time to interact with them. There is a special place in heaven for people like you.

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Rudy is so special. The entire road watches out for him. Many have tried to buy him, but she won't sell him. She fell on some hard times and had to give all her other horses up, but she's a nice person. And he isn't thin. He can see Boone from his field and has cows too across the way. I think he finds that his herd.

Leenie said...

Greetings from Idaho. Enjoy your comments. I am a transplated farm kid and hobby artist. It is fun to read about your family of animals. I miss cows and horses and chickens.

Zan Asha said...

Katherine, as always, a beautiful story :)

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~